I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice
The Classic Crime – Phoenix
I like such bands as The Classic Crime because their lyrics are so beautifully written that you are forced to sort of meditate upon them – owning them, and at one point they begin to make some eerie form of sense. Because you find out it’s what your heart has been screaming all this time but never really had the words to give it form.
For those who work out, or have worked out, you know of the legend of ‘the never moving watch’. Particularly if you haven’t worked out in a while or.. ever. You start all fired up, and when the lungs begin banging your chest as if they want to escape you glance at your stopwatch to see how much time you’ve put in; only to find it’s been barely two minutes. Huh? *pant pant*
I had such a moment recently (well, a little over a month ago; this post’s kinda dated), when I had put in so much work; not just ‘work work-wise’ (I do websites btw), but also socially and other areas of life that are easily forgotten by an INFP, and then looking back, I couldn’t really point to a major accomplishment or something that’s worth a pat on the back. I felt like I was moving mountains and navigating huge storms. But as Matt McDonald puts it, as he stood on that hill looking at his accomplishments they seemed pretty insignificant. What a kick in the nuts.
At that point you have to make a decision: you either decide it’s not worth it and give up, or you double (and I seriously mean double) your efforts and push on. With the first option you get to rest and continue as normal. And that’s okay, if you’re okay with normal. But more and more I’m beginning to be aware of the tremendous amount of effort it requires to get to goals set. That’s the part these ‘motivational speakers’ leave out, or if they don’t they don’t emphasize it enough. They’ll tell you ‘go on you can do it’! Then maybe slide a little ‘you have to work for it’ then continue with an even louder ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ Every breakthrough requires a significant amount of force.
But the thing with ‘breaking through’ is that you don’t really know what’s on the other side. One plus one will always equal two, but that’s not necessarily how life works. From experience you can do everything right and in the end still fall short, whereas someone else will skimp through a number of stages and get better results than you. So I’ll conclude that you just don’t really know whether your efforts will be rewarded, or get thrown back in your face.
So there you are, standing on the cliff thinking of whether to jump, not knowing if your wings will work, or if they work, how far they can carry you, or if they’re actually a strong pair, whether they’ll take you to the place you’ve always wanted. There a lot of things at play, mainly because once you jump off there’s no rewind button, no going back.
But there’s more….
A precipice is pretty high, so frighteningly high that if you arrived at that point then you arrived with good reason. Maybe you’re a thrill seeker. Maybe you want to start being a thrill seeker. Or maybe you’re just done with being the Mayor of Mediocre Town and are looking for literally anything else, better or worse. A hint of desperation but with dignity intact. Because unlike the rest in Mediocre Town, you have the guts to look for something different.
What do you do?
FYI I jumped; probably one more to add to my collection of dumb moves, but looks like I’m learning how to fly. And when you’re falling, you learn to fly pretty fast.
The most annoying part of life is time. Not that in itself it’s a nuisance but the fact that you can’t suspend it for a while makes it feels like you’re always rushing; or being rushed , even for the smallest insignificant things. Like menu choices or what socks to wear. Life is a constant stream of events marked by time, one following the other in glorious reluctance, giving the illusion of some form of progress at the very least. Is it possible to put your life on hold? Seems so; of course that depends on how you define [your] life.
I’m probably not the first man alive to put off plans for the sake of other people. That’s the most general explanation of ‘putting your life on hold’, and is more perceivable. This is known. One of two other form of pausing your life is a subtle form of self sabotage; constantly (or occasionally) getting in your own way, even with good reason. It took a week of me powering through numerous obstacles to see through a plan I was determined to not renege on; to realize how easy it is to get in my own way just because I feel either the time isn’t right, or the people involved aren’t. At times there are a plethora of reasons I could decide not to do something, even if I feel it right in my gut. Sounds like a ‘comfort zone’ thing but I’ve been out of my comfort zone for a while now. Or comfort zone has become such a cliche it doesn’t mean anything anymore.
At times I wish I wasn’t so ridiculously meticulous, especially at making plans, because with that much detail and ‘dedication’ it becomes very easy to write off plans when things go awry. And I have killed a good number of plans just because things began changing more than I wanted to. Surprisingly, if the plan is for someone else then I don’t mind moving mountains. But when it comes to my own it’s a whole different story. At one point I was asking myself is it just my plans that fumble or, if at all, just bundle themselves over the finish line? Is it some form of ill fate to come up with really good plans and fail miserably at the execution? The saying ‘best laid plans’ had actually become like a mantra, because of how many plans were falling on their heads.
Nothing teaches you the unpredictability of life like the life of a freelancer. You draw up a plan, the client doesn’t want it, you do another, the client agrees, payment is delayed, meaning your payments get delayed; things can go wrong very quickly without some contingencies in place. And this lesson isn’t really a great one particularly for someone who has a knack for predicting things and thrives in stability. Or maybe I’m just not as good as predicting or reading situations as I think.
I remember that week everything around me was just screaming ‘RENEGE! RENEGE!’. But I think something just snapped. Screw the ‘I love it when a plan comes together’ Hannibal tagline. I think I was just done with this perfectionist planning syndrome or whatever. Sitting down, I had a stark realization; the time will never always be right, the situations will never always be ideal and there will always be the risk of failure. Basically, it boils down to this:
How badly do you want this?
What are you so afraid of?
Looking at the monster that has its finger on the pause button, I only see three faces. Fear, perfectionism and nonchalance. But once fear is dealt with the rest seem to disappear.
Even with a brick wall there are a number of ways to get round it. The first is to go through it; it hurts, it’s messy, but it gets done. The second is to climb it. Difficult, sweaty, less painful than going through but definitely longer. The third, which I just unlocked recently, is simply to find another route. There’s always another way.
Thinking about it now, it seems like the people who excel at this game of life aren’t the ones with the perfect plans or situations, but it’s the ones who turn really crappy situations to really great ones.
Part three of the Battle Series:
Resolve is one of those weird qualities that can never really be measured until the time when you have to show it. You can’t use words to express it; people lie all the time. And even if they were telling the truth at the time, circumstances change rapidly in battle and at that particular point nobody cares about what you said. Actions can though, but only actions performed when you’re backed up against a wall.
I’d like to think of resolve as determination’s bigger, meaner and more badass sibling. Determination conotes working towards something with some form of discipline or diligence, while resolve is something already ‘worked towards’. Determination’s the journey, resolve is the end game. Because in battle things are there and there; there’s no more learning, no more trying harder next time, no more keep at it. In battle you either have it or you don’t.
Picture two soldiers in their prime; equally trained, of similar skill level and of equal physical strength. Who will triumph? What determines the winner?
Anyone who’s been an activity that exerts your body more than normal can attest to the fact that there’s a point you reach where your body just wont move; consequently at this point skill doesn’t really matter. Your vision is blurry, you can’t even stand properly. The point where all the factors are at 0; the baseline. That baseline is resolve. Like a default setting; what you’re really made of. At that point, at that decisive point in battle, the one with more solid resolve will never fall under the blow of the one with less.
Note the word ‘solid’ because resolve is not a building that goes higher and higher. It’s a base you just keep compacting and compacting.
Can resolve be strengthened? I don’t know. But highly unlikely. You can never really train for the nastiness of battle. But the things you see and have to do, those things ‘harden you’ and that forms your baseline, your resolve. Yes, resolve is just a pretty word for stubbornness.
Determination is “I know what I need to do and I’m diligently working towards it.” Resolve is “I don’t care what I have to do. Imma do it anyway. What choice do I have?”
Right so it’s the last day of the year and that warrants at least one cheesy post.. I wasn’t gonna blog till the next year but this just couldn’t wait. Because timing.
Great year ladies and gentlemen, great year. I started my own venture, gamed a TON, specifically in the RPG (role playing games), and had pizza at least four times. I had pizza twice in 2014 so this is a WIN and I’m HAPPY about it. But more importantly this was the year the universe sat me down at her feet and hammered in some knowledge into my head, hammered it good. They may seem tiny and somewhat mundane but if you really think about them they’ll make you tilt your head slightly to the side and make you nod in a subtle manner. That’s right people. Here are the secrets to the universe. (if not then I ended up in the wrong class and found it surprisingly helpful).
Before I start, remember this is from the view of an INFP 24 year old with limited energy that stammers like crazy at times. Okay here goes.
First, you can get away with almost anything if you’re charming. And it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Think real hard about what your going to say and then say it. Okay, that’s a given but the key is back it with all the confidence you’ve got. All of it. A fool talking with utmost confidence can convince even the wisest of crowds. By playing RPGs you can learn alot and for me I have discovered I have the knack for negotiating and striking good deals without a silver tongue. And by good deal I mean win win deals (the only deals I enjoy making). There is always an option that will leave both satisfied.
Secondly. A weird realization. Double entendres are everywhere. And may wreck your childhood. If you look for the dirt, you are going to find it. Yeah that’s pretty much it.
Thirdly. Baby steps. If the mountain scares you start tearing away pebbles first. Yes, pebbles. Huge tasks are just a set of tiny ones stacked up together chanting “we are legion.” Scared of going out? Start by saying yes to the one friend who keeps asking. Scared of writing? Grab your pen or pencil (love pencils) and just write random words. Heck this post started out that way 🙂 Weirdly they begin to take shape. But you have to start. Just start. Is it a business venture? Register the domain name. You can come back in a few months to it. As long as it’s a step, you’re fine. Some are quick off the tracks, some are slow. Overtaking is allowed. You don’t even have to overtake. All you have to do is move forward and something, bringing me to the fourth point, something will happen! Something always happens; and if you miss the window, just make sure you don’t miss the next one, or the one after that. However be wary of settling for $100,000 when there’s $1,000,000 around the corner.
And lastly. Learn to let go. And this is coming from an INFP; the most clingly people. We have grips stronger than workbench vices. It’s good to believe in people and wait for the good to come up. It’s good to keep hope alive in certain areas. But at times you just have to call it. That energy is better spent elsewhere. Embers can mean something isn’t dead, but they can also mean something is way past its prime and you won’t get much of it anymore.
Summing up, remember that the best is always yet to come. You don’t notice it now but you’re right where you need to be 🙂
I remember that night. I had just gone out for some fresh air. Breathed in, felt the air into my lungs, refresh my soul; my hands were stretched out, eyes looking up gazing into the heavens. And my, what a sight! On this night the starts were peculiarly beautiful . I dashed out to get my camera. I had to capture this. How could anyone not?
I came back hurriedly, getting my settings right; and as i was about to take a photo the battery died. Such disappointment! I really wanted that photo! So I just lay there, imprinting it into my memory; the best I could do. And after I had enough of mosquitoes tingling my legs I wnt back to bed; hoping for a dream of the same.
Now the next day, I went about asking everyone if they saw what I saw. That spectacle. And the only response I got were, ‘No’ and ‘Yeah..’ Nothing more. There were those that didn’t see it, and those who saw it couldn’t care less. But how? I was really disappointed. And confused. Still trying to figure out why no one cared about such beauty.
They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. No, this was not what the universe was trying to teach me. That night again I went out to see if I could go and see what I saw the previous night. Nope! To no avail.
There were stars alright, but seemingly not as beautiful and as breathtaking. I may have been staring at the exact same thing, but the magic was gone. Then I realised it. It was the same spectacle as the previous night; but its magic had been robbed. How? And then the universe pulled out her ruler and pointed to the board; a great epiphany that was.
In this life we’ll see, we’ll feel, we’ll experience, we’ll think up many awesome things; so awesome that we’ll want others to be in the loop, and possibly experience them also like we do. Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with sharing such experiences, such thoughts, such feelings. But sometimes, such things have limited magic (limited to one person, you). Sometimes such things are meant for you and you alone; not you and your friends, not you and your family and not even you and your significant other. Such magical experiences, such inspirational moments, are meant just for you.
Just. For. You.
It’s not that bad things happen to good people, or that good things happen to bad people. Good things and bad things happen to everyone, regardless of how they’ve chosen to live. It just sucks that someone can continually go the extra mile; helping out here and there and still have the unfortunate happen to him. Or how the bully or that person who just seems to get in everyone’s way or on everyone’s nerves always has good luck coming his or her way..
Frankly, if your in the doing good business for similar returns, it isn’t the most promising [venture] I’d say; do good for good and because it makes you feel happy. Ok, that may sound a little selfish but it’s the good kind.
Yes, I was young. But I was not foolish. With eyes that see everything, and an intuition that cuts sharper than any wind chakra coated blade, I was constantly putting myself at the front lines, absorbing information from all angles. Yes, I was curio. Only because I hated not knowing; being in the dark. But as a child you only have so much processing capability; there’s all this data coming in but you don’t know what to do with it. So it just sits there, waiting for you to either understand it, or forget it. And I don’t forget.
The data sat in that cauldron, mutating from time to time, but just as dormant. And then one day, you begin to see patterns. You find missing gaps; and you attempt to fill them. Instinctively, you dip your hands into that cauldron, despite screams from the dark matter to leave it alone. You don’t listen. You dive right in. And suddenly everything is clear.Clearer than ever. That crystallizing moment. When you discover all you saw, all you know, allyou had been told, isn’t what you had believed. Your very foundation of existence totally shaken to the core. No, this is not the rag being pulled from underneath you. This is the floor literally disappearing from where you’re standing. Then you begin to fall. Voices grow faint The light diminishes, getting farther and farther till it vanishes. Oh, the irony!
And you reach a point, where you’re not sure if your still falling. You’ve been there for so long you just don’t care. For the dark matter mutates one last time; bearing its final form. The immortal ghosts that will haunt you forever. They will be with you. Because you gave them life. Reminding you of what you have done; how cruel this world is, keeping you from growing forward; from opening that door. For you feel you have enough of them already. Oh, the truth is grizzly.
Some things are better off left unsaid. Even if it’s the truth. For the sake of sanity. And stability.
Everyone must choose their own path. In a world where we’ve only one life left to live you must be sure of what you’re doing; where you’re going; how you’re going to accomplish it. It is foolish to follow another on their own path; that way you may be mocking the reason for your existence. If you’re foolish enough to choose a path simply because another chose it, doesn’t it mean you’ve given up on yourself? What is the purpose of being born with separate lives if we all end up taking the same path? It would be better if we were all conjoined into one soul.
But because we each have different souls in different bodies, we must choose the path that we’ll live by, and follow it to the end. Having no regrets, and being prepared to face the consequence of the path chosen. No matter the path, your death must find you grinning. Now, choose.